The Social Media Scene, Act 1, Scene 2: Miami

By Angelo Fernandez

Ah Miami . . . You've got the top-down on your convertible, listening to "Welcome To Miami" by Will Smith, cruising down the street, beaches with beautiful people on your left side and the city on your right.  Well that's how we all picture it anyways but Miami has developed into so much more than that.  What was once simply known as a vacation spot is now an economical and social hub in the United States.  And by utilizing social media the city has been able to capture its audience and truly connect with them. But it all starts with the people, more specifically the celebrities and athletes.  Because Miami was and still is such a perfect place for the famous and wealthy to spend their time it's only natural for social media to be big there.  That jump may not quite make sense at first glance but think about it, we have always been fascinated by gossip, rumors and the lives of movie stars, athletes, musicians etc . . .  Before we had newspapers, TMZ, radio shows and television to see what they were up to.

But now there's the added channel of social media that brings us information quicker than ever and for the first time we can get real-time news from the celebrities themselves.  Celebrities, like it or not, are a major player in social media and could even be argued the life blood of it.  Dwayne Wade from the Miami Heat announced over Twitter and Youtube that he was going to stay in Miami.  And his partners-in-action LeBron James and Chris Bosh also have large following on various social networks as well.  They're just two new nodes to add into the already huge Miami social media network.  Just check out this list of the Top Twitter Accounts and you'll see that Barack Obama, Twitter and CNN are the only non-celebrities in the top 25 of accounts.  The list of Facebook Page Leaders tells a similar story but to a lesser extent because of all the pages that are about games, shows, music, food and other hobbies.  So you see that social media isn't all about the stars but more about what people want to follow, read and see in their news.

Social Media has created a personalized news feed if you will.  It's made it possible to filter exactly what you want to know about and leave the rest out.  There are pros and cons to this but ultimately you get what you asked for which has to be seen as a good thing.  And everyone in Miami realizes that which is why they are moving online as well, it's essential to have an online presence which is one reason why the Miami Dade County and its Mayor Carlos Alvarez have a Facebook, Twitter and Youtube account.  Many other politicians, businesses and companies also participate in all of the social media sites as well which lead to even more of an increase in the people who use social media to stay in the know.  The size of Miami's social networking was evident during Social Media Day when Miami turned out the biggest turnout in the Southeast and bigger than the turnout in L.A. and earlier in the year they had a great turnout of Foursquare day in Miami as well.

This huge social media savvy base has surely ensured many companies and businesses that were wary of social media to jump onto the bandwagon.  With so many people using these networks you're guaranteed to strike a chord with the right crowd if you put yourself out there.  And with Miami's very diverse population there are still many untapped markets which agencies, businesses and celebrities alike are trying to reach.  Next week we'll be talking about Austin, TX, and what they are doing to stay ahead of the curb when it comes to social media.

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